Henrique Oliveira’s first show in New York opens today

(New York, USA)

Henrique Oliveira, a three time PIPA nominee, presents today an installation at Van de Weghe Gallery, his first show in New York.

For his exhibition, Oliveira has taken over the gallery with an ambitious installation. He has built a self-enclosed plywood room that the viewer may enter. A life-size tree, constructed from scraps of plywood and bark, appears to grow horizontally from one interior wall, bisecting the room. Its branches protrude from the trunk, extending until they reach and seem to be reabsorbed by the opposing walls, ceiling, and floor; it is a reverse life-cycle of sorts. The work vividly objectifies the disequilibrium of nature and society.

Oliveira is best known for his sculptural works which take the form of free-standing pieces, wall-reliefs or immersive environments made from materials scavenged from construction sites: plywood, metal, foam, tree branches. He uses these to build organic structures evocative of tumors, exposed viscera, or various plant-life. These meticulously-built hybrid forms reference both nature and the environmental decay associated with societal waste. Oliveira expertly integrates these structures with adjacent architecture or ordinary objects, blurring the line between a sculpture and its surroundings to suggest a strange and new kind of life.

As a counterpoint to the flux of virtual images that dominate our time, the strong materiality of Oliveira’s work is an invitation to see not just with the eyes, but to perceive with the body. He prompts us to question our perception of space, surface, and consistency; the lines between animal and vegetable, painting and sculpture. He transforms the natural patina of used materials into a “taxidermied” metaphor for the environmental problems of today.

Henrique Oliveira
On view until from April 28th to June 30th, 2017

Van de Weghe
1018 Madison Avenue 78th Street – New York, NY, 10075
Working hours: Monday – Friday from 10:00am – 6:00 pm
T: (+1) 212744-1900

PIPA respects the freedom of expression and warns that some images of works published on this site may be considered inappropriate for those under 18 years of age
Copyright © Instituto PIPA